KSAT Is building four new antennas in Antarctica at the KSAT Troll station, the commercial ground station serving spacecraft in polar orbit. Credit: KSAT

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Kongsberg Satellite Services is significantly expanding its satellite communications network by installing new antennas and by forging alliances with commercial partners.

“KSAT’s expansion through investment in additional internal and external capacity is driven by continued strong demand, primarily in low-Earth orbit,” Dan Adams, KSAT USA head, told SpaceNews by email. “While the commercial market is the leading driver of growth in volume on our network, we also see stable growth in the government sector.”

Four new antennas are being built in Antarctica at the KSAT Troll station, the commercial ground station serving spacecraft in polar orbit.

KSAT also is enhancing U.S. coverage with new ground stations in Hawaii, Alaska and in the continental United States, in the Southeast. The new U.S. capacity “is driven by direct customer interest in communication links to and from the United States,” Adams said.

In addition to the 270 antennas KSAT owns and operates, KSAT has established relationships with ground service providers including Microsoft’s Azure Orbital, AWS Ground Station, through its Solution Provider Program, and Comtech Korea.

“This hybrid ‘Network of Networks’ approach allows us to provide near global coverage and fill any gaps in our global map using capacity from our partners’ network of sites,” Nina Soleng, KSAT communications director, said by email. “A key element of this network is that all sites and apertures are accessed via a common API, regardless of whether the customer is accessing one of the organic KSAT sites or one of the partner’s sites.”

KSAT’s expanding network is designed to serve new entrants and veteran satellite operators.

“As our customers explore new business models and develop new solutions with their products, they demand new capabilities,” Adams said. “These requirements are diverse.”

Satellite operators are seek reduced latency between contacts with their spacecraft, Adams said. “At the same time, we see increased need for Ka-band by commercial market users with missions requiring high-bandwidth communications,” he added.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...